Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Rain today. Finally!

August is the worst month for me weather wise. I just don't like hot weather. I am very much looking forward to cooler Fall weather. The drought this year has been particularly bad. I was looking at the rainfall list in the paper. Usually, we should get about an average of 3" a month. These days we're luckey to get half an inch.

Packing up today to go to the beach. First time since June - due to my mom's illness. It will be nice to get a change of view. I've been kind of trapped in my basement all summer.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Picked up the following new CDs at Tower today:

Aimee Mann - Lost in Space
Patricia Barber - Verse
Duncan Sheik - Daylight
Stones Remasters (SACD) - Let it Bleed, Beggars Banquet, Through the Past Darkly

Hope to do some serious listening tomorrow. Curious to see how the Stones SACDs sound. Tower as usual didn't have all the discs. Wanted Sticky Fingers as well. I haven't really cared about the Stones for years but this remaster series is interesting. I think I stopped paying attention to the Stones by about 1975. They're a bunch of old farts at this point. Best years behind them.
I've got my tickets to go to the big island of Hawaii in Feb. 2003 - unless United folds before then. It will be the first time I will be on an airplane in about 3.25 years. I'll be staying in Kona, with my parents. I was wondering what might have developed in terms of Internet connectivity since I was last there. Well, it turns out that the whole island is one big Wi-Fi net! Check this article out. Looks like I'll be taking my Wi-Fi card with me!

Sunday, August 25, 2002

Just checked in at Trey Gunn's website. Looks like the mighty Crim were in the studio in July in Nashville. Sounds like a promising new release projected for Feb. 2003. Also, something new from Trey is also in the works. His last group live album was great.
Well that wasn't fun. I just lost all of my last post due to web congestion or something!

Ok, just listened to most of the new Aimee Mann cd. Quite nice. On sale for $10 along with the new Duncan Sheik at Tower on Tuesday. Looking forward to the new Peter Gabriel cd at the end of September. Now if we could get new material from The Blue Nile, David Sylvian, and Joni Mitchell.

Began fiddling with Linux again recently. I had a been on a hiatus for a while. I've been playing with Linux since about '97-98. Things have definitely progressed in the install, gui, and apps. I recently discovered the Knoppix distrib. The cool thing about this one is it is designed to run entirely off CD-ROM without touching your discs. If you type "knoppix noswap" at the prompt it just runs all in memory. Very impressive. One can even save a floppy config file to remember you mail options, printer, etc. I tried it on several machines and it came right up. One nit on one machine I have is the sound config. This pc has a Crystal 42xx sound chip which is auto detected. When I try to play XMMS it starts and then the whole machine locks. I've been seeing this type of behavior under Linux for years. Linux sound support is still not very robust! I used to run BeOS on this box and it worked fine with this sound chip. What's up with Linux? This would be a real roadblock for me to go full time Linux. I don't know why things haven't improved in this area.

I continue to muse about Apple PCs. I have always been skeptical about Jobs and his reality distortion field but the current batch of products are quite compelling. The problem, of course, is having to buy all new apps in addition to the new Mac. I think Apple should try to shave about 2 pounds off the iBook. I've been happy with my under 4 lb. Sony Vaio. Apple needs to get into this space.

Meanwhile, I languish in my aging Windows world. It's amazing how disenchanted I've become since I left MSFT. I just don't find their apps compelling. IE was good in it's day. I still think OE does a lot right. Of course, I never could stomach Outlook and will never use it. Office no longer holds any interest. Visio was interesting when it was independent but now has just been sucked into a black hole.

I am impressed by the first release of Open Office. I especially like the open XML format of the files. The great thing about OO is that you are guaranteed there will always be support for the format since you don't have to worry about a company going bankrupt or becoming arbitrary like MSFT. I think I heard that the next version of MSFT Office will finally go open XML has well for the file format. That was inevitable. My sense in the few statistics I've seen is that each version of Office sells less with each passing version and year. It's simply overpriced and not compelling. Give me a text editor and email. That's all you really need. The student pricing scheme MSFT has been selling is simply a backdoor way of admitting that prices have to come down. I remember asking Orlando Ayala (VP of North America) while I was at MSFT what we were going to do when you could buy a PC for less than the price of Office? His response was that people would recognize the value of MSFT software. I was unimpressed then and still am in his answer.
I have been exchanging emails with Comcrap's online help. I send them questions and they send me answers for totally different and unrelated quesitons. Totally clueless! Their "mywebpages" are still hosed. I just tested my uploads by ftp'ng them locally and they check out fine, so there must be a problem with there web server cache or some such nonsense. C'est la guerre?
Ok, its a day after my 42nd birthday. Decided to try out blogging for a while. Still having trouble with ComCrap ftp servers so my pages are not fully rendered. Hopefully, things will sort themselves out soon. More to come.